Hospital and an Oxycodone led recovery.




You know how it is. The days have been reasonable. A blissful uneventful period of stability and quiet confidence. Normality is stable as it is supposed to be. The only spoke was a return to a backache. The last time I had this was in November the 9th, 2015. The date of a packet of six pain killer tablets told me so.  I had four left. Over the last few days I took 3 of those and thought it prudent to go to the local public hospital to get another few of those tablets. They really helped last time. I kept this last tablet up my sleeve in case the pain became so bad that walking to the hospital would be out of the question.

We live almost next to not one but two hospitals. One is public, and abutted to it, and part of it is a private hospital. The difference is that the public one is a bit add hoc with all sorts of strange additions cemented on to the original one. It can be a bit of a challenge at first to find ‘Emergency’. Someone has thought of gluing down plastic feet guiding patients to the different sections. There are confusing ramps and doors held open by bricks.

The private hospital is simple, modern and has no odd additions. The brickwork is tuck pointed and there is an outdoor café with a healthy Coke  sandwich- board on the pavement. Each hospital have their own parking allotments. The public has Ford trucks, Holden utes and Toyota panel vans. The private have Audis and Mercedes, and whiffs of perfumes and polished shoes.

After showering I took myself to the hospital. It was 11 o’clock and the sky overcast. It had rained but the birds were happy. Lots of screeching white cockatoos. Within minutes triage nurse had taken my particulars including pulse and history. I proudly showed my packet holding still the one Oxycodone tablet dating to 2015. No drug addict here.

‘Please take seat back in the waiting room’, she said, smiling. ‘Doctor will see you SOON.’ The waiting room just had a young girl holding up her hand with her spare hand. Her palm had a bandage. After waiting for two hours I noticed that in the office opposite where I was sitting, there was a coming and going of many nurses. There was a lot of jollity and loud positive laughter.

However, sitting for such a long time took its toll. Previously I would be in and out within an hour. Two hours and just one girl? I went into a convivial and accommodating mood. It must be a few severe cases of ambulances bringing in terminally damaged patients, I thought. Doctors are flat out dealing with damaged ones. What is a backache compared with smashed head and broken bones? Normality doesn’t live in the Casualty departments of hospitals.

After almost three hours I was finally seen to. One of the jolly and laughing nurses asked again the extent of my injuries. She did notice my awkwardness in getting off the chair and limping behind her to yet another chair. I’ll fix you up first she said, and left. She came back with a poly styrene cup with water and a smaller clear plastic cup holding a variety of different shaped tables. I rummaged around the tablets trying to understand what I was supposed to do. ‘Which one do you want me to take?’ There were at least 15 tablets. ‘Take the lot,’ she commanded. ‘What, the lot?’ ‘Yes, she said, they are Nurovan, Panadol, Hedanol, Paracetamol, and some others, take the lot.’ I had trouble fitting them all in my mouth. May I chew them, I mumbled politely?’  ‘Yes, chew them, she said.’ Was this my lunch?

I was so amazed. I felt like leaving a tip. Nurse left after telling me she was going to see doctor for a prescription for the more stronger pain killer. She assured me I would soon be feeling better. I assumed they would be the Oxycodone, as before. But, who should walk in but Helvi, my wife. I thought I was seeing an angel. Turns out she got worried. There was no one in the waiting room. She asked the staff where a Mr Oosterman might be. She was taken to her husband. By the time she got to me all pain had floated and I was flying. I managed to tell her about the cupful of tablets. Almost asked her for a dance.

She too was amazed.

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22 Responses to “Hospital and an Oxycodone led recovery.”

  1. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    Gez, sorry about your back pain. It’s a bugger.

    Your waiting room story has a lot of resonance, I’m afraid and I wish I could maintain your apparent sense of equanimity for three hours. I find it very frustrating to sit in a room of sicker than me people and wait and wait and wait – but just as you said, if my head was leaking claret, I’d appreciate a little priority treatment too. So we learn to grudgingly accept poor service.

    But when the behind the counter staff seem to be partying on, it’s even harder to take.

    I have some insight into invisible causes, though. Emmlet I is now an intern at a regional base hospital and while the nursing staff and other from time to time enjoy slack periods, the young doctors never do. She’s often working back to back shifts and at night time she’s the only doctor on duty – because NSW Health are too poor / mean to staff the gig properly. This is a very stressful situation for a new doctor. When something serious shows up she has to call in a more experienced colleague and manage things until that person arrives.

    At the end of her shift – which might be say at 11:00pm, if she has a patient whose treatment is incomplete, she has to stay with the patient until there is either a formal handover or the patient is discharged. That can and often does mean up to 3 hours of unpaid overtime and one exhausted young doctor.

    It’s a crappy system for both patients and doctors.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Big M Says:

      Only doctor on for ED. I thought there was an RC into this sort of bullshit. Anyhoo, I haven’t worked in ED for three decades, etc, except to do the odd IV cannula in a baby. I can empathise. Nothing worse than an emergency department full of walking wounded, then a major trauma comes in. Some of these are six people jobs.

      I’m glad Gez found someone nice, with the keys to the cupboard!

      Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I think you are right, Big M.

        Staff was busy with serious trauma. I noticed a woman coming in all distraught. She was led away. Another woman was very ill swaying backwards and forwards while someone was rubbing her back.
        My backache was a minor issue. The triage nurse smiled and comforted me; “it is probably wear and tear,” referring to my back pain.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Trouserzoff,
      I figured that the ED was flat out with other stuff. That’s why I remained as calm as possible. It also had a sign ” Please treat staff with respect.” On previous occasions I was in and out quickly. I could have driven to a doctor but getting in and out of the car was a killer for my back, and Helvi doesn’t drive anymore.
      I don’t think I saw a doctor. But the prescription was made out by a doctor. There were ambulance men walking about and signing things, carrying walkie talky.
      My last visit in 2015 I saw a very nice and young doctor who kept touching my arm with concern and understanding. She had dark brown eyes. I remember it well.
      The laughing and jolly person I saw this time, gave me this cocktail menu of different tablets to give instant relief. She would have been a kind nurse, not a doctor.


  2. Christine Says:

    N, P, H, P – Shall keep them in mind. For floating . . . .

    Parcel arrived today, Gerard.
    The cover of “Almost There” is most attractive; the shade of taupe(?) is pleasing, yes! It’s a book you want to pick up.
    I think if it were on the shelf of a bookshop (are there any about now?), it’s one that many would reach for.
    They’re my thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. leggypeggy Says:

    Great tale. Have you come back to earth yet?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Hoo boy. Fifteen tablets in the ER? Never heard of such. I am still wondering if you were seen by a doc? I sure hope your pain in much better. Have you tried a chiropractor yet? Sometimes they perform wonders. I can still trying to digest Oxycontin. That is the RX of choice of many addicts here in the states. Lots of deaths from buying these drugs off the street. People like to get high on the stuff. My daughter was once prescribed Oxy for her cervical pain( two cervical fusions in 5 years time) and the stuff made her CRAZY! Never again., She hallucinated after just one tablet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Ivonne. A friend reckons he never heard about giving a cocktail of headache tablets. I suppose, the nurse was well meaning, and doctor too busy to approve of a stronger tablet under the ‘controlled drug’ act.

      However, it did the trick and soon after the pain went I was given the Oxycodone prescription.

      I believe that the stronger pain killers were abused to such a degree that most of them are only available on doctor’s prescription.
      Doctor’s have signs saying they do not prescribe those drugs to new patients. It was meant to prevent people doctor shopping for pain killers.

      I know in Holland you can’t buy over the counter most of the pain killers that are still freely available her.

      I am not normally a pill taker at all. An aspirin is about the strongest I might take.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. berlioz1935 Says:

    What sort of back pain? People usually have lumbago and think it is the end of the world. While experts say there are many underlying causes the usual one are weak stomach muscles. This can be overcome and prevented by doing several situps each day.

    Panadol and Panadol Osteo are now available at the chemist without a prescription. Therefore, there is no need to wait for three hours at a hospital. Poor Helvi must have thought they kept you there for an operation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Therese Trouserzoff Says:

      …or harvesting body parts 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I can’t believe I am talking so much about my health. Next I will talk about the weather or what I ate last.
        You will be pleased to know that things are only half as bad as they appear. A great consolation.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Berlioz.

      Panadol and Panadol Osteo are the same. I believe court action has now resulted that directional painkillers and the advertising of such is now forbidden. The only difference between the different Panadols are the price. Panadol ‘Head and Neck’ is 24cents a tablet, the Osteo, 6cents.They both have the same ingredients.
      A tablet cannot be directed to kill specific pains. It can just kill pain.

      I went to the hospital to try and get the Oxycodone prescription that one cannot get over the counter. It relieves the pain and in 2015 it made the back-ache go. Not because of the pain killer but because I believe it relaxed me enough for the back-pain to heal and go.

      It was the Big.M who advised me to do this. I never had better advice.

      Years ago, during the eighties, I was in Hospital booked in to undergo a back operation. Luckily that time the pain went away naturally. Since then, I have had about three attacks.

      You must be so strong to do sit-ups, Berlioz. I love walking and sometimes ride a bike.
      How are you going?


  6. Patti Fogarty Says:

    I kept waiting for you to say it was all a dream, wow that was some cocktail!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Another great post Gerard. I can’t believe you waited all that time for help. And after taking all those pills, which one actually did the trick? If you had gone to the private hospital, it might have been faster and you and Helvi could have stopped at a local restaurant for a sausage sandwich afterward. Glad you are feeling better. Nothing like the local drug pusher.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rodhart (@roderick_hart) Says:

    With so many tablets I can’t but wonder if they all got on with each other. I hope they did!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. shoreacres Says:

    I’m really astonished that you were given such a mix of drugs without any apparent concern over what the actual problem might have been. And oxycodone? Wow. That’s not exactly the drug of choice for (you should forgive me) older patients. There are well-known side effects in the elderly, which my mother experienced after she received a stent. The surgeon gave her oxy, and she landed in ICU with a full-blown temporary psychosis. It was amusing after the fact — particularly the golden lab she was sure was living under her bed — but at the time it was more than a little unnerving.

    I had to drive myself to the ER with terrible back and hip pain many years ago, and it was no fun. I was doing just fine with a pogo stick, until I hit a tree root. The pogo stick went one way, I went the other, and landed smack on my hip. That took a while to get over.

    I had a year or so of terrible back pain later, and ended up seeing an orthopedic surgeon who sent me on to a sports therapist. It turned out it was a stress fracture in my lower spine, probably genetic, and after a month of some exercises, it was gone. If it twinges now and again, I just go back to the exercises, and all is well.

    I certainly hope you’re continuing to feel better. Keep some of that brisket handy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I don’t think it was a good thing. I looked at the cupful of tablets and was totally perplexed. “Why did you not ask, Helvi and friends are saying to me?”
      A good question, but I have always been weak when with people and authority. Tending to be generally unquestioning except when later on, and after the event.

      “You question always what I am doing,” Helvi states brutally honest. “You are not shy with me,” she might add!

      In my defence, I did ask, ” which one do you want me to take?” When she said ,”the lot” I should have questioned it. So much was racing through my mind. At the time, I did not know she was the doctor or the nurse.

      Originally many years ago, the orthopaedic surgeon advised a fusing of some vertebrae. I have done hard physical work hauling up and down multi-story buildings on swinging stages. At earlier times stages were not electric but had to manually worked through pullies and levers.
      I was given twenty Oxycodone tablets and so far have taken four without seeing any strange cooks pulling pork under the bed.
      They do help with pain.

      So glad your back and hips are OK, Linda.


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